Q: What criteria do you look for when hiring summer associates?
A: We hire only summer associates who show the potential to be excellent attorneys. We seek well-rounded and highly motivated individuals with excellent interpersonal skills, strong academic achievement, strong work ethic and the desire to work in a team environment.
Summer Associate Program at a Glance
Q: What kind of training can I expect to receive from your Summer Associate Program?
A: Our goal is to give summer associates a realistic impression of what it would be like to work at Bass, Berry & Sims. As a result, summer associates have many opportunities to observe the attorneys as well as participate in client meetings, depositions, conference calls, hearings, trials and closings. In addition, a summer associate gets hands-on experience by drafting documents, preparing motions, etc. We also emphasize constructive feedback as part of our summer program so that progress may be noted through the course of the program.
Q: Will I have a mentor as a summer associate?
A: Yes. Each summer associate is assigned both a partner mentor, who serves as an advisor on firm questions and long-term goals, and an associate mentor. The associate mentor oversees the summer associate's work assignments and serves as an integral part of acclimating the summer associate into our firm.
Q: How is work distributed and what types of assignments can I expect to receive as a summer associate?
A: The work assignment process is managed by the associate mentor. Summer associates are asked to list any practice preferences and are given the opportunity to choose assignments that match his or her interests. Summer associates are given substantive assignments that are typical of assignments actually given to our associates.
Q: What if I am interested in multiple practice areas and do not know which area I would prefer?
A: The work assignment process, with the assistance of your attorney mentors, will allow you to receive assignments from a variety of practice areas if you so choose. Throughout the summer, some practice groups host luncheons or other activities that will provide the summer associate with an overview of that practice area. Summer associates are encouraged to get to know and work with as many attorneys from the various practice areas as is possible during the summer program.
Q: How many billable and non-billable hours will I need to complete as a summer associate?
A: Summer associates are not expected to meet a minimum amount of billable or non-billable hours. However, assignments given to summer associates are reflective of the work given to our associates. Our full-time associates typically bill between 1,850 and 2,050 hours annually. We also expect all of our attorneys to be involved in non-billable activities, such as pro bono matters, bar related activities, recruiting, attorney development and continuing education.
Q: What salary can I expect to make as a summer associate?
A: The summer associate salary for 2L students in our Tennessee offices is currently $1,800 per week. The summer associate salary for 1L students is currently $1,500 per week in our Tennessee offices and $2,100 per week in our Washington, D.C. office.
Q: What is the dress code at Bass, Berry & Sims?
A: Our firm maintains a business casual dress code year round.
Q: If I receive an offer of employment, will it be made by a specific group within your firm?
A: Currently, the firm does not hire by practice area. Our program is designed to expose summer associates to multiple practice areas while tailoring their activities to the areas they have listed as preferences. Practice area placement is determined by the long-term needs of our firm, the foreseeable market and economic trends, and the preferences indicated by the summer associate.
Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.